By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – In a tough non-conference Sunday battle, the Green Bay women’s soccer team drew a scoreless tie against former Horizon League foe Loyola at Santaga Stadium.
The draw put Green Bay’s overall record at 4-3-4 and concluded a four match homestand with a record of 2-1-1. Loyola evened its record at 4-4-4.
“I was very happy with the defensive performance in the game today, it’s our second shutout in a row,” said head coach Trevor Warren. “I feel we didn’t have the finishing touches to the chances we created like we did on Friday, but we certainly had the better of the scoring opportunities in the game.”
A back-and-forth opening half saw both teams trying to establish their offenses, posting a combined four shots. Loyola’s best opportunity came in the 20th minute as a header by Ashley Bovee went towards goal before Green Bay keeper Nastacia Behle (St. Paul, Mo.) collected the shot and sent the ball toward the other end of the field for a waiting Hekla Palmadottir (Akranes, Iceland). However, Palmadottir’s breakaway shot sailed wide of the net.
The Phoenix applied offensive pressure to open the second half as Emily Friedl (Kenosha, Wis.) put a shot on goal less than a minute into action, and Heidi Hartmann (Plymouth, Minn.) followed with two more shots over a two-minute span. Offensive intensity continued to build as Renee Therrien (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Ahna Logan (Roseville, Minn.) also forced Loyola keeper Monica Gonyo into save situations.
Momentum swung in favor of the visitors to close the half, but the Green Bay defense held strong and shut down the Ramblers to force extra minutes.
It was a quiet first overtime, with Loyola putting two shots on the board. The Phoenix held the advantage in the second session with three shots and had a prime scoring opportunity with 1:40 remaining. Katie Schulz (Plymouth, Minn.) served the ball into the box after a Loyola foul and the Phoenix saw several touches and attempts to score as the ball bounced around before a shot from Hartmann sailed wide and ended the threat.
“It was reasonably comfortable game for us defensively against the direct play of Loyola,” said Warren. “We won most of the headers from the long balls and crosses into the box and also on the set plays. The defenders positioning and ability to win those balls was excellent. Nastacia was great in goal again today, and really controlled her penalty area.”
Green Bay led in shots for the match, 11-9, while Loyola held a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. Hartmann finished with a match-high five shots. Behle played the entire match and made two saves en route to collecting her second-consecutive shutout and third of the season.
Green Bay returns to action next Saturday, traveling to Youngstown State in conference action.
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